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Best of Alcatrazz Import


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Audio CD, Import, March 9, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

UK release. Finally the re-issue of this long unavailable CD has arrived! This disc features vocals from Graham Bonnett (recorded as a solo artist as well as with Rainbow, Michawl Schenker Group and Forcefield), guitar by Steve Vai (recorded as a solo artist as well as with Frank Zappa and David Lee Roth), guitar from Yngwie Malsteen (recorded as a solo artist and with Stealer and Rising Force, drums by Jan Uvena (who has recorded with Alice Cooper and The Paley Brothers), keys by Gary Shea Bass and Jimmy Waldo (members of New England), and guitar by Danny Johnson (who has recorded with Axis, Alice Cooper, Rick Derringer and Rod Stewart). Dream Catcher Records. 2006.

1. Island In The Sun
2. General Hospital
3. Hiroshima Mon Amour
4. All Night Long(Live)
5. Since You've Been Gone(Live)
6. Night Games(Live)
7. Stripper
8. Painted Lover
9. Sons And Lovers
10. God Blessed Video
11. Mercy
12. It's My Life
13. Dangerous Games
14. Undercover
15. No Imagination

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • ASIN: B0000087XC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,369,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Alcatrazz was sort of an inversion of a super group, built around ex-Rainbow screamer Graham Bonnet. The original lineup of Alcatrazz featured two master guitarists before anyone outside of LA had heard of them. First up is a very young Yngwie Malmsteen, and to hear Yngwie's playing in a power-pop/metal band context is interesting...as is how developed his trademark style was even back then. Six of the songs feature Yngwie, including one of Alcatrazz's two pseudo-memorable originals ("Island in the Sun") and three live songs including versions of Bonnet's oft-rerecorded two semi-hits with Rainbow ("Since You Been Gone" and "All Night Long"). To me, the live stuff with Malmsteen is worth the price of admission, but you also get several solid songs with a young fretboard burner and whammy-bar fanatic called Steve Vai...Vai was Yngwie's replacement post-Zappa before the DLR and Whitesnake gigs which led up to his eventual solo popularity. Following Vai's departure to work with Dave, Alcatrazz got a third shredder who remained obscure...before slipping ocne and forever into the dustbin of metal history around 1986-87. Bonnet went on to work with (Chris)Impelliteri -- and, tellingly, the best song they came up with was "Since You Been Gone" version fiveor six. The complete Alcatrazz albums are fairly weak as well as hard to find, but a tiny label with the band's bassist involved in this project has put together a highly worthwhile and easy-to-acquire recap. Dated, yes. Cheeseball, you bet. But if you were 12-18 in 1983, or you've become a fan of Malmsteen or Vai since then, you might invest the bucks in some crunchy reminiscence.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Way back in the day I had the entire Alcatrazz canon (such as it was, only 3 studio albums and one live set) on cassette. The three studio albums were kind of spotty and the live album was inessential, but there were some good tunes to be found.
Since the original albums are available on cd only as very pricey imports, it would seem to me (and to casual fans or the curious I'm sure) a sensible move to pick up this domestic compilation. Well, it would have been if someone had chosen the right songs.
I can't really argue with the selections from "No Parole" or "Live Sentence", but "Disturbing The Peace" and "Dangerous Games" are completely misrepresented here. Somehow they managed to pick 9 songs from these two albums and still miss the highlights, especially on "Dangerous Games". Oh, well. May be the original albums will get reissued domestically someday.
Note: My comments are based on the quality of the songs chosen, not the quality of the playing of Mssrs. Malmsteen and Vai. If you are a total frethead may be these were the best tracks?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jim Wiseman on September 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a magnificent collection from a band with unbelievable musicians. I have bought three copies of this CD for other friends who play guitar. How can you get a better album from a band with Steve Vai and Graham Bonnett? This is without a doubt the most treasured CD I have ever owned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. MUNOZ on October 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
If you don't know about this band, I guarantee you that it is always time to check them out. Graham Bonnet, the gifted vocalist previously from Rainbow and MSG, finally took control of his own musical tastes and went for it with Alcatrazz. Their first incarnation was with no other than Yngwie Malmsteen in the guitar duties, still in his early twenties and still about to conquer the world with his over-the-top axeworks. The three first songs on this album are from their first studio effort, titled "No Parole from Rock and Roll", which arguably is one of the best albums ever in the history of hard rock. Of course, only three songs make no justice to an album of that calibre, but you'll get the idea: a spiced-up blend of MSG's "Assault Attack!" and Rainbow's "Down to Earth", with Yngwie shining on his own right on the six strings. Every song from that period is worth a listening, but pay special attention to "Hiroshima Mon Amour". The guitar solos there are purely tasteful neoclassic shredding, as good as it can be. Bravo, Yngwie!

Then you get another set of three songs (tracks from 4 to 6) with the first line-up, but this time in a live environment, taken from the "Live Sentence" album - the second (and the last) with Yngwie Malmsteen. The live album was rushed almost right after the first studio album. Maybe the band felt they should state on record that the Swedish guitar god was also able to deliver the goods live, or maybe they just wanted to release some more material quickly... Anyway, these other three songs actually are covers they played in the live album, taken from Bonnet's previous catalogue. However, they did sound pretty well played by Alcatrazz. - specially "Night Games".

Tracks from 7 to 11 are from what I call the "nerdiest" period of the band.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter on December 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Although this compilation focuses on Alcatrazz's greatest hits culled from its three studio albums and one live album, I have chosen here to review the band's last work, Dangerous Games, individually, as this anthology is (as of now) the only available means to hear a few songs from that underrated LP which I believe merits its own attention. Should it hopefully become available online as a separate entry, I will accordingly move this review. Consequently, I will not review here the songs for No Parole which I have written elsewhere under that album's title.

After collaborating with two of the arguably most technically proficient guitarists in rock- Yngwie and Steve Vai- at the time of their third album Alcatrazz was confronted with a formidable juncture: either to find another guitarist of comparable virtuosity- a meager prospect given their past alumni- or operate as a cohesive band emphasizing solid songwriting over flashy soloing. With the resultant product of Dangerous Games, Alcatrazz clearly chose the latter, a wise option which not only permitted the band to establish its own identity bereft of an axe god, but also enabled hitherto marginalized members like Gary Shea and Jimmy Waldo to rise to the forefront. While Vai's replacement Danny Johnson is a capable shredder in his own right- he had to be, as he had to pass what was then surely one of the toughest auditions in rock music- Alcatrazz undoubtedly must placed an interdict upon him not to overshadow the band like his stellar predecessors. Thus, it is no accident that Johnson's solos are short and concise, thereby granting breathing space to his bandmates. As this is intentionally Alcatrazz's least ostentatious output, the album acquires an understated appeal and modesty otherwise lacking in its predecessors.
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